The Czech language is a slavonic language (similar to russian, polish, slovak). Czechs can understand some international words – stop, fine, super, OK, hotel, document. But most of the language is very different from English and it is difficult to learn it. Still learning few basic words you will please the local people and you will look like an insider who knows … and can not be cheated! It is advisable to learn some words especially if you travel to the Czech countryside.
To learn more see: Local Lingo – A website that helps you learn Czech.
FAQS and misunderstandings
- Slang yes " yea" is in Czech "nó".
- Diet coke we say cola light.
- ATM machine we call bankomat.
- To express "really" we sometimes say "fak jó". Which sounds very nasty to Americans :-), but in Czech it means just: "Really?" You may hear it in Prague so do not take it amiss. (But do not use it, people would think you speak english :-)
- Many people ask about Prague subway announcement:
Ukoncete vystup a nástup, dvere se zavírají! > Stop getting off or getting on, the door is closing!